Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Torture

Last week, I described how the Texas Republican party proposed legislation that would require a woman who wants to have an abortion to receive a vaginal exam (two actually). Well, the Texas Democrats at least fought back (which is more than the national Dems ever do): Houston state representative Harold Dutton got the most coverage…

Reading the prepared text of Obama’s speech at the Tucson Memorial Thursday night, there was one part I really liked: And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy,…

In his weekend roundup, driftglass reminds us that there was a time when our mainstream pop culture villified torture and praised those who attempted to resist it: And then Fox TV’s Torture Porn Show, also known as 24, made torturing fashionable. Strength was to be had in torturing people, not in resisting it. At this…

Monday’s NY Times, in a story about the remote possibility of torture investigations by the Justice Department, describes the Obama administration’s concerns: A series of investigations could exacerbate partisan divisions in Congress, just as the Obama administration is trying to push through the president’s ambitious domestic plans and needs all the support it can muster.…

You see, this is the method of The Enemy, so therefore we don’t torture. Or something. From Glenn Greenwald comes this nauseating account of media spinelessness in the face of the evil that is torturing another human being:

Since I don’t own a television that actually gets reception, and I refuse to pay for cable*, when I’m on the road, I occasionally turn on the TV. What do I see, but CNN criminal shock jock Nancy Grace.

David Broder Defines the Banality of Evil

(from here) And I don’t mean that in a good way. Washington Post columnist and Compulsive Centrist Disorder sufferer, regarding prosecutions for torture, scribbles: It’s one thing to be a stenographer–and a bad one at that. But, as Glenn Greenwald notes, our celebrity press corps goes beyond that:

Abu Zubaydah and Inefficacy of Torture

In yesterday’s NY Times, Ali Soufan, an F.B.I. supervisory special agent from 1997 to 2005 who worked on counterterrorism, wrote a devastating indictment of the failure of torture to collect useful intelligence. To me, the most critical part of the op-ed is about how torture fails to reveal novel information:

ScienceBloglings Greg Laden and John Wilkins have discussed whether or not CIA employees complicit in torture should be exempt from prosecution. The debate has revolved around the ‘following orders’ issue. But this misses a key point: